The 10 Best Outdoor Solar Lights of 2021

Add lighting to your outdoor space without extra plugs or wires

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The Rundown
This solar light has it all—style, character, and efficiency.
Change the color of these LED lights depending on your mood with a tap of the remote.
These motion sensors work well as security or spot lights, giving you peace of mind.
Walk on sunshine with these path lights that are 20 times brighter than most garden lights.
“You can easily pick up and move these lights anywhere you want or need. They’d be perfect for gardens, pathways, or stairs.
Add some charm to your patio with these fairy lights that come with eight modes.
Feel free to be lazy and leave these heavy-duty, weatherproof lights up all year.
With their vintage look and easy installation, this set adds instant class to your setting.
This kit will give you everything you need to create unique hanging lanterns.
Perfect for the pineapple fan in your life or just anyone who appreciates whimsical garden decor.

Over the past several years, solar lights have been improving by leaps and bound. They let you harness the incredible power of the sun right in your own backyard, on a patio, or even out on the balcony. You only need a few hours of sunlight each day at the spot you want to hang the lights. Then they pretty much do the rest of the work on their own. 

Solar lights have so many benefits. For starters, high-quality solar lights last longer than traditional lightbulbs. They’re much easier to install since you won’t need any external outlets or wiring. They are incredibly efficient, adding zero cost to your electricity bill, using the energy of the sun instead. You might pay a bit more for them upfront, but if you look at a five year time period (yes, they should last that long), they’ll actually cost about half as much compared to traditional lights. 

Here are the best outdoor solar lights:

Best Overall: Pearlstar Vintage Solar Lamp

Vintage Solar Light

This light has it all—style, character, and efficiency. It has a white LED Edison-style bulb, giving it a great vintage look for a porch or deck. The copper framing is waterproof and weatherproof, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it out in rain or snow.

The light is just over 14 inches long with the handle or 8.5 inches without. It has an automatic sensor, so it turns off during the day and then on at night. This is a conversation piece, whether you buy a single light or a few to frame a patio.

Best Color-Changing Lights: B BOCHAMTEC Solar Flame Flickering Torch

Change the color of these LED lights depending on your mood with just a quick tap of the remote. With 13 colors to choose from (or put it on a rotation), you can choose your favorite color or create the right look based on a certain season or holiday. These flickering lights have an IP65 rating, meaning they meets high weatherproofing standards, so you can feel good about leaving them outside year-round.

The lights are available with a spike base or a flat tabletop option, so take your pick. You can also recharge them through USB in case you don’t get enough sun on a cloudy day. You should get 12-16 hours of light out of a full charge.

Best Motion Sensor Lights: Baxia Technology 28 LED Solar Motion Sensor Security Wall Lights

Baxia Motion Sensor Solar Lights

These motion sensors work well as spot lights or security lights, giving you peace of mind without having to run extra wires or buy an expensive system. The fast-charging solar panel converts at a rate of up to 17 percent to power 24 LEDs.

The sensor detects motion up to 5 meters away, which triggers the light to shine for 30 seconds. This four-pack of lights are easy to install on any fence post, wall, or flat surface.

Best Path Lights: MAGGIFT 6 Pack 25 Lumen Solar Powered Pathway Lights

MAGGIFT Lumen Solar Powered Pathway Lights

You’ll get one of the brightest LED solar options that money can buy with these pathway lights. At 25 lumens, these are more than 20 times brighter than many other garden lights on the market. Made mostly from stainless steel and glass, you can be sure these will hold up season after season. The lights are 15.8 inches tall and 5.5 inches wide.

They have an efficiency conversion of 25 percent and a 3.2 volt battery. They get about eight hours of lighting with a full charge. You won’t have to worry about turning them off and on, though, because they’ll do that on their own at dawn and dusk.

Best Step Lights: Bell + Howell Solar Powered LED Pathway Light Pack

Bell + Howell Solar Powered LED Pathway Lights

Here’s another LED light where you don’t have to worry about an on/off switch. The lights shine upwards, and sit flush to the ground. Just turn the initial switch on, and then push the spike into the ground. The stainless steel lights turn on a dusk and off at dawn, thanks to an automatic light sensor.

Each light has a 4.5 inch dimeter, and on a full charge offer 10 hours of light. You can easily pick up and move these lights anywhere you want or need. They’d be perfect for gardens, pathways, stairs, or take them with you camping. They light walkways well, but aren't ideal for uplighting trees or other taller landscape features.

Best Fairy Lights: Brightown Outdoor Solar String Lights

Brightown Fairy Lights

There’s something about fairy lights that create a magical scene, and these definitely won’t disappoint. You’ll find seven total colors to choose from, all on strands that are 33 feet long with 100 LED bulbs. The lights also have eight modes to choose from, including waves, fireflies, twinkle, and more.

These efficient lights have a built-in 800 milliampere-hour rechargeable battery and convert at a rate of 19 percent, thanks in part to the rotating panel, so you can easily aim it at the sun. After a full charge, expect the lights to last between six to eight hours.

Best String Lights: Brightech Solar LED String Lights

Brightech Ambiance Pro Solar String Lights

Miniature Edison bulbs can add style to just about any space. These 27-foot LED string lights will help you create a great ambiance in any outdoor space. They are one of the most heavy-duty, weatherproof string lights on the market with shatterproof S14 bulbs, so you don’t worry about leaving them up throughout the year.

They also come with a three-year warranty, so if you do happen to have any issues, just contact the company for a replacement. The lights will last up to six hours on a single charge.

Best Wall Lights: Greluna Outdoor Solar Wall Lights

Gerluna Wall Lights

Here’s another one that comes with built-in color options. Stick with the traditional, warm white (3,000 Kelvin) or change it up to one of six other colors.

Each individual light (these come in a pack of eight) is pretty small at only 4.7 inches long and 3.5 inches wide. Yet the built-in rechargeable battery packs a big punch at 1.2 volts and 600 milliamp hours. After six hours of sunlight, the light can stay lit for up to eight hours. With their vintage look and being easy to install, they’re one of the most stylish and quickest ways to light up your outdoor space.

Best Mason Jar Lights: Cooo Eight Pack Lids Solar Powered Fairy Lights

This kit will give you everything you need to create unique hanging lanterns. All you have to do is add the jars! You’ll get eight sets of lids, handles, and lights to go inside.

These lights have an IP68 rating, so you won’t have to worry about moisture getting in to corrode the batteries. This light recently went through a redesign, giving you a much higher sunlight to light conversion (aka, a longer lasting light). You can also use these indoors. If you don’t quite get enough sun on a regular basis, no worries. The battery is replaceable.

Just for Fun: JSOT Hanging Pineapple Lights

Hanging Pineapple Lights

Decorative solar lights have definitely come a long way, and these pineapple lights are just one example of the fun solar light designs that can brighten up any space. The 60 LED lights have a built-in panel at the top of the pineapple, so you really just hang and go.

They’ll stay lit for six to eight hours on a full charge. These would be perfect for the pineapple fan in your life or just anyone who appreciates tropical garden decor. Buy a single one or fill your space with pineapples.

Final Verdict

Our top pick for an outdoor solar light is the Pearlstar Vintage Solar Lamp (view on Amazon). But if you’re looking for a motion sensor light that won’t stay on all night, consider Baxia’s Solar Motion Sensor Security Wall Lights (view on Walmart).